‘Extremely doubtful’ Americans will get a second stimulus check or enhanced unemployment benefits if deal isn’t made by Friday

August 5, 2020, 9:03 PM UTC

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Democratic and Republican party leaders are making little progress in their talks for another stimulus package, which would include another round of stimulus checks and enhanced jobless benefits. And if they don’t make progress or a deal by the end of the week, they might not pass anything, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told reporters Wednesday.

“I’ve become extremely doubtful that we’ll be able to make a deal if it goes well beyond Friday,” Meadows said before going into a Wednesday meeting with Democratic and Republican leaders to try again to hash out a stimulus deal.

The White House, Senate Republicans and House Democrats all support sending another round of $1,200 stimulus checks to Americans, however, they can’t come to an agreement for the broader stimulus bill in which the checks would be included. Democrats want more money for state governments and unemployment benefits, while Republicans want the extra $600 weekly federal unemployment benefit—which expired the week of July 25—reduced and COVID-19 lawsuit immunity for businesses.

“They [GOP leaders] repeated again today which is if there’s not a deal by Friday, there won’t be a deal. At some point you have to set a deadline or just continue this Kabuki dance every day and nobody wants that,” Senator Roy Blunt, R-MO told CNN Wednesday.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Wednesday that he’ll delay the start of the August recess and remain in session next week. That would provide the time needed to pass legislation if both parties come to an agreement this week.

On Wednesday, House Speak Nancy Pelosi was more upbeat, telling MSNBC that she’s “confident that we will have an agreement.”

White House officials have suggested the distribution of stimulus checks could be sped up more, given the system is already in place. However, until the bill passes and the U.S. Department of the Treasury issues guidance, nothing is certain.

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